19 December 2017

November Reign Wrap

I shot at least one picture (actually, at least three) every day of November for the third time in 2017. As awesome as it was to get back into the habit of waking early every morning, it was pretty nice to be finished with the project on December 1, too.

Now I can just shoot sunrises when I want to, and I don't have to be creative on gray days or cloudless days if I don't feel like it.

And yet, there's something wonderful about meeting the challenge of attempting to get an outstanding and different sunrise shot when the skies just aren't cooperating. Or something unique each day, even though almost every workday sunrise of the entire month was spent in the same place.

I'm very pleased with the final results!

Of the 30 days, four were completely overcast, with no sunrise whatsoever.

No color today in my sunrise,
No color today in my view!
No rays to bathe the landscape;
Christmas lights will have to do!

Five days were cloudless or nearly cloudless.

More than half the remaining 21 days were out of this world!

I walked 72 Charity Miles capturing sunrises during the month of November.

I shot three timelapse sequences, and each one was progressively better, from a skill standpoint.

Now, here's the biggie. I shot 2,734 photo with the Nikon point-and-shoot P530 and the Nikon "Big Gun" D300. I confess I used the point-and-shoot most days because it's lightweight.

I shot 230 sunrise photos with the iPhone.

My online November Reign gallery contains 355 edited individual photos.

Highlights from the month include an impromptu trip to Fort Collins when my adopted son asked me to meet him there on a workday to help him with an urgent venture. I couldn't believe I was able to get the day off from work with only a day's notice, and I couldn't believe it when, en route to Fort Collins at 4 a.m., my son let me know he didn't need my help after all. I'd decided to shoot sunrise photos of the new Fort Collins Temple before meeting my son when I first found out. When plans changed, I decided I'd go ahead and shoot the sunrise anyway. It was worth it.

On November 13, I was able to capture the celestial rendezvous of Venus and Jupiter with my tiny little point-and-shoot! I was SO thankful some perfectly positioned clouds provided a focal point for the camera, which doesn't work so well in manual focus mode.

Lookout Mountain has been one of my favorite Denver sunrise destinations for years. Whenever Lizard rides the Triple Bypass or Double Triple Bypass, I drop him off at the start line, drive to my favorite Lookout Mountain curve, park legally and then shoot the sunrise while Lizard pedaled up a dark, closed-to-vehicles, two-lane highway for the first leg of his full-day, 120-mile journey. I'd then travel back to Idaho Springs and snap photos of him as he entered the realm of open highways.

I've shot SO many sunrises from Lookout Mountain!

It was even a good location for moonrises, too.

Snowcatcher photography isn't going to be taking place on Lookout Mountain Road again any time soon. My two favorite pullouts have been closed to any kind of activity at all. No stopping, no walking, no trespassing. That's what we discovered on November 25 when we headed up there together on Lizard's day off to shoot the sunrise.

We found a legal pullout where I could walk along the ridge for about 600 feet and snap a partially blocked view of the sunrise, which was already in progress. Lizard parked the car while I hurried out onto the ridge, only to find a couple... Well, let's just say they might have been more comfortable in a hotel room. We exchanged uncomfortable acknowledgements, I snapped two or three quick hand-held photos of the skyline, and I hurriedly left them alone.

Lizard met me as I returned to the car, sunrise now complete and color gone. I explained why I hadn't waited out on the ridge for him, and we decided together Lookout Mountain is just not a good location for sunrise photos anymore. Darn!

Before Thanksgiving, Lizard and I headed south for the only two-day break we shared the entire month. We visited the Paint Mines near Calhan and Bent's Old Fort near La Junta. We spent the cloudless predawn on the shores of Holbrook Reservoir. I managed to shoot a couple of photos before we heard gunshots. It was hunting season, and we were surrounded by geese. Until the shots rang out, that is! We decided that probably wasn't the safest place to be before the sky fully lit up, so we hit the road and stopped again on a bridge above the Arkansas River to see if we could catch another colorful shot or two.

The sky was beginning to brighten, and the photos weren't dynamic anymore, but I heard an owl hooting beneath the bridge, echoing out over the river, and it was one of the coolest morning songs I've ever heard in my life! I wish I could have recorded it to share now!

So many fun memories of the month! So many pictures to cherish for life.

Here's my second-favorite sunrise from this year's project.

And here's my most favorite shot of the entire month. I slid out onto frozen Echo Lake on my belly the day after Thanksgiving to get the light coming through the chunk of ice. It took nearly an hour to warm up my legs and torso after that. This shot might be my favorite photo of the entire year.

1 comment :

  1. Sure got lots of awesome shots. Can be good to meet a challenge, but yeah, nice to rest when over, until the next comes. The last is a great one indeed. Stinks they blocked off the path so you can't get to Lookout Mountain, sure quite the view from up there.


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